Our Future Is Strong, COVID Update (Edition #20)

Dear Good Shepherd Families,

As we began the second semester of our 2021-2022 school year, our hope was the pandemic would be subsiding and we would be opening the school to lesser COVID-19 protocols. Such is not the case. As we continue to work hard to keep our students in school, new variants have caused widespread faculty and staff illnesses.

Given the number of employee absences, all staff have been asked to serve to fill in the gaps left by the county wide deficit of substitute teachers. I too jumped back into the classroom and enjoyed spending some time in 7th grade Social Studies this morning! If we have a shortage of faculty and staff available to teach, there is a possibility we would need to close our campus for a few days. Of course, we cannot have an unsafe situation with inadequate supervision of students. We are working very hard to make sure this does not happen, but things are moving and changing very rapidly with this variant and I wanted you to have some insight into our situation.  

Should we need to close the school, any missed days would be treated as inclement weather days, and we would not return to remote learning during the closure as we would have so many teachers who could not zoom due to illness. Please know we are taking every precaution to avoid such a closure. Our Protocol Review Team is monitoring our situation closely, is in daily communication with the health department, and is keeping in touch with families and employees affected by the recent increase in cases.

Our goal, as always, is for the school to remain open. If we need to make a change, we will provide you as much advance notice as possible along with additional details so you may prepare accordingly.

“Our Future Is Strong” is a series of brief, informative emails/posts which began April 30, 2020 to keep the community informed about our preparations for our return to campus and the ways we will live together as a community during the pandemic. “Our Future Is Strong” will continue periodically on an as-needed basis. We have also posted this series on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) section of our website for your reference.
Together we are #gsesStrong, 

Julie McLeod, Ph.D.
Head of School